Traditional Spanish Ballad Structures

Traditional Spanish Ballad Structures


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Spanish laies, or love affairs, are narrative verse forms that have their roots in the heroic poem genre. In the 13-14Thursdaycenturies these laies were created by anon. writers and widely spread among common people. In the 16Thursdaycentury love affairs appeared in a written signifier ; subsequently on, such writers as Gyngora, Quevedo, and Lope de Vega started to bring forth imitations of ancient laies. Although these Romancero Nuevo ( new Spanish laies ) preserved the traditions of Romancero Viejo ( old Spanish lay ) , research workers and bookmans ( e.g. Foster, 1971 ; Smith, 1972 ) have tended to deeply analyse traditional unwritten laies, paying particular attending to their constructions. The purpose of this essay is to supply conclusive grounds for the impression that traditional Spanish lay constructions are merchandises of inevitableness instead than design.

The termromancerowas ab initio applied to talk linguistic communications that stemmed from Latin ( Gilman, 1972 ) ; nevertheless, it was bit by bit transferred to the verse forms in poetry signifiers. The Spanish laies were non specifically designed, but emerged from heroic poem verse forms. As Fitzmaurice-Kelly ( 1908 ) points out, in the 13Thursdaycentury there was a group of aimless instrumentalists ( better known as junglares ) who visited palaces and “chanted long epics” ( p.83 ) . As the clip passed by, the popularity of these heroic poems was well decreased ; in visible radiation of this, junglares decided to take the best fragments from these heroic verse forms and set them to music, juxtaposing heroic elements with lyric elements. When these new-made love affairs came to the bow, they were performed for amusement of common people. For about two centuries Spanish laies were passed on from one coevals to another, but the procedure of transportation occurred in an unusual manner. Harmonizing to Catalan ( 1987 ) , the constructions of these laies were adapted to local cultural traditions and to “the altering systems of values of the societal groups” ( p.401 ) , but the narrative model remained unchanged.

Due to the fact that all lines in these Spanish laies ended in a changeless vowel rhyme, they were easy remembered, repeated, and Sung at different celebrations. The undermentioned illustration from the layBlanca Ninareflects this vowel rhyme:

Blanca sois, senora mia,

mas que no EL rayo del colloidal suspension,

?si La dormire esta noche

desarmado Y wickedness pavor?

( lines 1-4 )

In the point of view of Michael ( 1993 ) and Acuna ( 2002 ) , Spanish laies were chiefly performed by adult females who changed the initial discrepancies and therefore introduced certain inventions into the constructions of love affairs. For case, many traditional Spanish laies are in the signifier of a duologue between a adult male and a adult female, like the layLa Gentile Dama. Here, a baronial lady makes an effort to score a shepherd male child:

Respondile con nan sana:

‘?Que mandais, gentil mujer? ’

Con una voz amorosa

comenzo de respondent:

‘Ven aca , EL pastorcico,

Si quieres tomar placer ;

siesta Es del mediodia,

que ya es hora de comer,

Si querras tomar posada

todo es a tu placer’ .

( lines 7-16 )

As Spanish adult females spent much clip at place without their hubbies, they felt solitariness and the deficiency of communicating ; in the laies that they sang they embodied their suppressed sexual desires, hankering for love and familiarity. In this respect, the duologue signifier of Spanish laies allowed females to “express their emotions and ambitions” ( Michael, 1993, p.101 ) ; the laiesEl Veneno de MarianaandLa Bella Malmaridadaare exemplifying illustrations of such look. However, there are some Spanish laies that are composed in the signifier of a soliloquy, but non in the signifier of a duologue, as is merely the instance with the layEl Prisionero:

Que por mayo epoch, por mayo, cuando hace La calor, cuando los trigos encanan Y estan los campos en flor, cuando canta La calandria Y responde EL ruisenor, cuando los enamorados new wave a servir Al Cupid ; ( lines 1-8 )

The differences in the terminations of love affairs besides confirm the analysed premise ; really, traditional Spanish laies do non adhere to a definite terminal construction. The layEl Veneno de Marianaterminals with the words of a female ; such stoping signifies that the love affair was performed by adult females who reinforced the thought that they were the 1s who made a final statement in their dealingss with work forces. Unquestionably, the world was rather different, but through these laies adult females implicitly criticised the bing societal and cultural norms, gender inequality, and dominant political orientation ( Acuna, 2002 ) . Contrary toEl Veneno de Mariana,the layLa Gentile Damaterminals with the words of a male who rejects the woman’s efforts to score him. This terminal construction demonstrates that the lay was sung by males and served as a tool for forestalling the break of a patriarchal hierarchy. The mentioned differences can be explained by alone regional attitudes to gender-related issues.

In amount, though modern-day critical bookmans invariably engender arguments on the beginning of Spanish laies, this essay provides definite cogent evidence to the hypothesis that traditional Spanish lay constructions are merchandises of inevitableness instead than design. What is suggested in this analysis is that all structural elements ( atomization, usage of duologues, changeless vowel rhyme, unfixed figure of octosyllables, and dissimilar terminations ) of such love affairs asLa Gentile Dama, El Veneno de Mariana, La Bella Malmaridada, Blanca Nina, El Prisioneroand others emerged under the impact of certain Spanish cultural traditions and regional ideological differences. Due to “the unfastened character of their structures” ( Catalan, 1987, p.401 ) , Spanish laies managed to quickly set to the various socio-cultural kingdom. These findings are consistent with the surveies conducted by Smith ( 1972 ) , Michael ( 1993 ) , and Acuna ( 2002 ) .


Acuna, B. G. 2002, The feminine voice in the romancer’s modern unwritten tradition: Gender differences in the recitation of the lay La Bastarda y EL Segador.Folklore, 113 ( 2 ) , 183-196.

Catalan, D. 1987, The artisan poesy of the Romancero.Oral Tradition, 2 ( 2-3 ) , 399-423.

Fitzmaurice-Kelly, J. 1908,Chapters on Spanish literature. Archibald Constable, London.

Foster, D. W. 1971,The Early Spanish Ballad. Twayne, Boston.

Gilman, S. 1972, On Romancero as a poetic linguistic communication.In: G. Sobejano & A ; R. P. Sigele ( explosive detection systems. )Homenaje a Casalduero: critica Y poesia. Gredos, Madrid. pp.151-160.

Michael, I. 1993, Factitious flowers or fabricated dodos?In: B. Powell ( ed. )Al queen Buena hora nacio: Essaies on the Spanish Epic and Ballad in Honour of Colin Smith. Liverpool University Press, Liverpool. pp.91-105.

Smith, C. 1972, On the ethos of the Romancero Viejo.In: N. D. Shergold ( ed. )Surveies of the Spanish and Lusitanian lay. Tamesis & A ; University of Wales Press, London. pp.5-24.

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